How do you know if you have credit? Believe it or not, almost all of us have some type of credit history, unless you’ve paid cash all of your life, or if you’re just starting out and have yet to need credit for anything. But, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t actually know if they have credit or what their credit score is! And, frankly those people who don’t know if they have credit are actually risking their future ability to obtain credit by not knowing.
These days, you owe it to yourself to know if you have credit, and to keep a close eye on your credit report. With identity theft and fraudulent use of credit on the rise, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself, and to know your credit history and your credit score.
Imagine, if you will, that you go to apply for a car loan… only to find out that you already have a car loan… or a mortgage… only to find out you already have a mortgage in your name… don’t think that this cannot happen to you! In fact, this type of identity theft is far more common that you realize, and it nearly always happens to people who either have no credit history or have an excellent credit history.
Another reason that you should know if you have credit, and what that credit score happens to be, is so that you can get the credit you need when you need it. Want to get a credit card? Buy a car? Rent an apartment? Buy a house? Before you even apply for that first credit card, you’d better know your credit score! And, forget going to look at cars, houses, or anything else without knowing your score, and having the score that your lender is looking for! (Besides, who wants to be embarrassed at being told “No” when you do go to buy something on credit?)
So, in answer to the question “how do you know if you have credit,” the best answer is not only to get a copy of your credit report, but to have your credit report monitored on a regular basis by a reputable credit monitoring company. A reputable credit monitoring company will notify you when there are changes to your credit report and you typically have access any time that you want to your most current credit score, so you know before you go whether or not you’ll qualify for that credit card, that car loan, or anything else!